Empowering women in cycling

Searching for “sea otter”

Introducing the 2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

0 2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

Rebecca Rusch is back at it again. Events across the country to encourage women to get on their bikes and ride!

2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

The Sea Otter Ladies Lounge at the Sea Otter Classic: April 19-22

Drop by the SRAM booth and meet your favorite female pros. Ask questions, check out new gear and listen in on our mini tech clinics. Rebecca and the other pros will also host short ride clinics and pump track sessions. For more
information on tour specifics and updates, please visit www.goldruschtour.com.

Dirt Rage Dirtfest Dirty Girls Clinics in Raystown, PA: May 17-20

Join Rebecca and SRAM/Specialized female athlete, Katie Holden for Specialized demos and free ride clinics during the three-day mountain bike festival.

Sun Valley Media Camp in Sun Valley, ID: July 4-9

By invite-only, eight lucky female representatives will meet Rebecca, Katie Holden, Meredith Miller and Lea Davison for a personal tour of the world class riding in Sun Valley. The camp coincides with USAC XC National Championships in Sun Valley (July 5th-8th) to allow the attending media to cover the event and experience Idaho riding at its best.

“Wheel Girls” Mountain Bike Club in Sun Valley, ID: June through July

Rebecca and her local female mountain bike posse will coach a 6-week teen riding camp for the second year. The classes will meet in June and July for weekly riding sessions on different trails in the Sun Valley area. The camp will focus on riding skills, trail etiquette and volunteer trail work.

Kokanee Crankworx Dirty Girls Clinics in Whistler, BC: August 13-19

The biggest freeride festival in the world, Crankworx is a magnet for the world’s best riders. With a collection of some of the best trails and parks on the planet, Rebecca and SRAM/ Specialized female pros will guest instruct and lead rides for all ability levels throughout the week.

Levi’s Granfondo Ladies Lounge and Media Camp in Santa Rosa, CA: September 29

Activities will include a pre-event social hour with complimentary bike fit and equipment check at NorCal Bike and ride tips from the pros. Rebecca and other female pros will offer a pre-ride preview of some of the toughest parts of the course. Post-event activities will include a SRAM/Specialized VIP reception for women and their guests with refreshments and GU recovery drinks.

Roc D’Azur Ladies Lounge and Dirty Girls Ride Clinics in France: October

This French mountain bike festival is open to riders of all levels and hosts races, fun rides, a huge bike expo and parties. Each day at the SRAM booth, female pros will be available to answer questions and lead mini-tech clinics. The pros will also be hosting short ride clinics and pump track sessions.

Motivational Monday: Sara Stearns

1 Motivational Monday - Sara Stearns

Sara Stearns is a reader of Bike Shop Girl and is an inspirational woman through and through.  While at the Sea Otter Classic I was able to meet Sara face to face.  She’s a pilot for an air ambulance that services the Sea Otter Classic every year.  One of the days she was working she landed her helicopter and walked in to the Ladies Lounge in her pilot uniform!  When I asked her to be one of my motivational Monday features she bulked, why would anyone find her motivational?  She is your normal middle age (don’t take that personal Sara) woman, she has a job, she enjoys riding with her friends and rocks an awesome bike stable.  Sara shows you what it is to live life everyday.  Follow her on Facebook and you’ll see!

What’s your name and location?

Sara Stearns, Seaside, California.

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I’m a rabid roadie, but as of late, a interest in off road has taken seed.  I am not a competitive rider, although I might try a criterium one day to see what it’s like.  Believe me, if I do, I’ll stay towards the back and stay out of everyone’s way!

What is your first cycling memory?

Ha!  My dad taking the training wheels off of my first bicycle and sending me down the sidewalk for my first solo flight!  I could only go straight.  I was afraid to make turns – but, it was such fun, and I could do it!

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

Georgena Terry for her advocacy, her courage, and determination.  She builds bikes, apparel, and she offers advice and inspiration.  I also admire Evie Stevens for her come out of no where talent, and she’s such a sweetheart!  She’s also a voice for safety and reason, and that’s so cool.  I admire Fabian Cancellara, because he’s a huge talent, a nice person, and well – he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too.  LOL!  I also like Jim Felt, because his company built my first road bike and my tri bike.  He also sponsors Sarah Hammer, and well – wow!!  Above all, I am indebted to the local women riders whom I have come to know as I learn my way into and around the sport.  Each and every one of them has offered advice, encouragement and has been a huge part of my enjoyment and bliss on my bicycle.  I owe them HUGE…

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

My first triathlon!  It was me against the clock, and all of the training I had done, plus the courage I mustered to do it, all came to fruition on that 12 mile course.  It was a blast!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

More triathlons, century rides, solo rides, more fitness, more enjoyment, more socializing, more empowerment.  I love to see other women getting involved in the sport, and it is a delight when they take a loving to it.  I also so enjoy watching gifted athletes, female and male, as they struggle and then excel in this beautiful endeavor.  More inspiration, that!

My bikes:

A 2009 Look 566, a 2004 Felt B2, and a 1996 Cannondale M500 (about to see the dirt for the first time!)

***************************

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Camelbak Octane 18X Hydration Backpack Preview

0 Camelbak Octane 18X Preview

Camelbak Octane 18X Preview
MSRP: $99.00
Water Capacity: 100oz
Size: Expanded 20L, Closed 16L
Weight: 1LB

Details from Camelbak

The CamelBak Octane 18X weighs in at just a pound and with 18L of fully expanded cargo capacity, this pack is perfect for 3+ hours of nonstop action. The Octane 18X features an independent suspension, easy to reach stash pockets, a harness pocket and an expandable cargo pocket so you can comfortably carry everything you need which moving fast. Great for extended trail runs or adventure races. The CamelBak Octane 18X also includes the new 100 oz. Antidote reservoir which has a quick-snap cap that tightens in a quarter turn and a quick-disconnect tube system.

Video Preview from Camelbak of the Octane 18x

Initial Thoughts and Feelings

I try to use water bottles as much as possible.  Too much weight on my back can kill me on hard and fast rides.  When I venture further away from the car or house, I need to carry things.  If it is to be more of a boy scout with things to fix trail side or more water and food for longer rides.    In the past I have used bags from Camelbak (the Lobo), Deuter, Osprey Packs and more .   Several of these will have final reviews posted in the coming months as well!  I have always wanted something lighter, and Camelbak seems to have delivered that.

The material of the bag reminds me of a parachute.  The zipper in the center helps keep things nice and tight when I don’t have a jacket or extra clothes in the bag.  My only concern is the lack of support on the bag.  It literally can be rolled up (without the reservoir) and put in a large jersey pocket.

Full review after Sea Otter

I will be taking the Octane 18x with me to Sea Otter and will be able to provide a full review after I abuse it a bit more in the heat and sand!

Answer Products PINK ProTaper XC Flat Handlebar: On Review

1 IMG_8032.JPG

I’m a color freak. Ask anyone that I’ve built a bike for, I love things to compliment, match and fit pieces together well.  Colored housing, grips, zip ties and spacers – they all matter for the end product.   For women especially, wanting to ride a bike is almost as important as how well the bike rides.  While walking the grounds of the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I spied color, ProTaper XC colored handlebars from Answer to be exact.  There aren’t enough bike components made in green, and we all know my love of pink.

Answer ProTaper XC MTB Handlebar

Answer Products ProTaper Handlebar

I was caught taking photos by one of the Answer guys, I inquired if they were making a flat bar in pink.  29ers ride very well with flat bars… The nice guy said “Yes, yes I do! How about you check out the matching gloves?”

How could I turn this nice guy down?  White gloves, pink accents, and a clean subtle feel to the palm.   The graphics on the handlebar and gloves are matching, the main graphics will be hidden under a grip other than the very prominent brand and model logo’s displayed in the middle of the stem.

Answer Pink Handlebar and Gloves

The gloves have been used daily for riding and a couple times for wrenching, they work perfectly so far.  Longer term I’ll document the fit and a full 360º of the glove as well.  The handlebar will be installed this week and tested for fit, weight and awesome color flare!

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

Review: Chrome Sherman Race Tool Bag

4 Chrome Sherman Bag Review

Chrome Sherman Bag ReviewThere have been many reviews released for the Chrome Sherman “Utility” bag. These reviews are mostly by folks riding their track bikes down to the local velodrome, swapping out wheels and gearing to race that same bike. For me this bag introduces a new look at doing business as a mechanic and ease of use for tool storage.

The spring and early summer season is always my busiest. First to Sea Otter, a couple local endurance races, a 24 hour mtb race and a handful of South East crit series to hit up. As a racer, but more importantly as everyone’s friendly female mechanic it is my job to be organized and prepared for whatever you need at the race.

Using the Chrome Sherman


At first this bag is overwhelming, so many pockets and clasps. In fact three weeks after actively using the bag I found a hidden pocket to hold my chain whip and pedal tool! The bag trifolds to easily be carried on your back, or the top flap folds back to be clasped on a repair stand, fence or whatever is close by. Once you figure out all the pockets, what zippers, what velcro’s, and what can go where is when you can start pushing the bag to its extreme.

The Chrome Sherman for Daily Use

Chrome Sherman Review
As I mentioned, I use the Sherman for different purposes than others. I use it as my tool bag, that travels on my back from car to pits, of garage to car to races. I’ve never ridden more than 2 miles with the thing on my back, but the bag is used daily with my bike tools.

To be able to grab the Sherman from where it hangs off my bookcase or repair stand, fold up the tri-fold and head off to wherever I am going. It is amazing. I’m not repacking all my tools, questioning where I left my measuring tape or 3-way. It is where I keep it, organized and always in the same spot.

If I am doing a full overhaul in my garage I will take out most the tools I know I’ll need and put them on the bench or on the wall for their homes, but this is more for speed than anything else.

What Goes in my Chrome Sherman

A random list of what is normally in my Sherman for daily use. Each race is different, if I’m going to a road race I may pull something different than a mtb.

  • Full run of allen hex’s. from 1.5 to 10mm
  • 4 main allen wrenches, 8,9,10,15
  • Adjustable wrench x 2
  • Chain tool
  • Cassette tools
  • Pedal wrench
  • Side cutter
  • Needle nose
  • Phillips screw driver x2
  • Flathead screw driver x2
  • Shock pump
  • Small squeeze of grease
  • Wax based lube
  • Teflon based lube
  • Electrical tape
  • Cable ends
  • Small tackle box of misc parts (quick links, headset spacers, tire boot, co2 head, pens,
  • 3-way
  • Spoke wrenches
  • Cable ties
  • Zip ties
  • Single speed cogs x2
  • SRAM 9 speed chain (new)
  • SRAM 10 speed chain (new)
  • Tire levers
  • 700c tube
  • 29″ tube
  • Mechanics gloves
  • Small container of Stans NoTubes
  • Crank tool x 2
  • Shimano crank tool
  • BB tool x 4 (outboard, octalink, square taper and Campy)
  • Brake cables x2
  • Shifter cables x2
  • Brake housing
  • Shifter housing

Overall Review of the Chrome Sherman

The Chrome Sherman is a bag that makes you think out of the box. (No pun intended.) It has allowed me to expand my services as a mechanic, and be more efficient when doing so. It handles cross country trips well, being shoved in the trunk of a car, or slapped on your back to haul on a bike.

There are things I would change, pockets I would expand, tool slots I would stitch in but for a non-custom bag at MSRP of $190 the bag does what it needs to do. Now at $190 you need to utilize the thing to death to justify the cost, but keeping my tools safe and organized in all conditions is worth it to me. Chrome, please add custom colors to the mix in the future!

Visit Chrome’s store for more details.

Review: Answer Products ProTAPER 650 XC Handlebar in Pink

0 Answer ProTaper 650 XC Handlebar

While at Sea Otter this past spring I was hooked up with the new pink Answer Products ProTaper XC Flatbar. After installing and riding the bar for a couple months (15 or 20 rides) I can give some honest feedback.

ProTaper 650 XC Bars Details

Width: 685mm Weight: 235g (flat) Back Sweep: 3º Colors: PINK, Mango, Red, Green, Brunette (brown), Black

Answer ProTaper 650 XC Review

While the handlebar got me at the word “pink”, the weight and options are really what kept me interested. Even though flat bars really aren’t my gig, not giving enough sweep for my longer distance hauls. I ended up riding these bars for a couple months on my geared Airborne Goblin and then moving it to my Surly Karate Monkey single speed. The weight and taper were confidence inspiring, especially when you use a stem like Thomson that can sometimes crack handlebars when not installed correctly. A bike shop could carry a few of these bars in different colors and really add some flair to customers bikes. Check out more Answer bars on JensonUSA.com

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

First Taste of a New Bicycle

0 Airborne Goblin 29er Preview

When I was first notified that I had made the cut for the Airborne Flight Crew my selfish first thought was “when do I get to try out the bikes?”

0000209

No longer do either the dreaming of bikes, or critically going through the specifications or grams of a bicycle do it for me. Every bike is built different, and other than the geometry of a bike your early can’t know how all the ingredients of the end recipe will turn out. Every piece of the puzzle matters and even in sales I often would tell a “upgrade crazed” consumer to simply give their new ride a few weeks as stock.

Some great examples :

I cycle through 4 different saddles. Depending on the bikes reach, drop, handlebar width, seat tube angle and “cush” I may fit on one saddle better than the next.  There are 3 tires I prefer on my mountain bike. If it’s a suspension bike, full suspension bike, 29″ or 26″, and finally how aggressive the fit is. All of these things change the handling of your bike, which will change how you ride your tires. Do you have more weight on your front tire through the turns, are you able to run lower air pressure, will you ride rockier trails (all mountain style) and the list goes on.

The First Taste of a New Bike

Where was I? Oh yes! I know the generic spec off paper of how the bike will be built. I don’t know how all of those spec’s in this “bike recipe” will taste, and I can’t wait to get my butt on the bike to taste my new bike!

Today’s the Day

As I walk into the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I have a few things on my mind, and a few things to take care of but I am ultimately excited to be testing out what I’ll be riding the rest of 2011. Between the Airborne Goblin 29″ and the Airborne Delta CX my butt will mostly be rotating between some variation of these two bikes.

Look for an initial preview of my first test ride

!

Motivational Monday with Wendy Davis

1 ICCP_mtb_race_2011_(116)

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

What’s your name and location?

Wendy Davis in great Missouri

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

mountain, single-speed, gravel, cross, road

What is your first cycling memory?

June 16 2007 was my first mountain bike ride as an adult. I pedaled 1.5 miles and launched myself over a cliff. A visit to the ER confirmed a broken elbow. In that short time I found my destiny. I fell in love with mountain biking that day.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I ride to inspire others to ride. I want people to see that if I can do it, so can they. The bike has made me happier and healthier. I keep riding because it makes me a better human.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Racing at Sea Otter courtesy of Airborne Bicycles and crushing gravel at the Dirty Kanza 200

Tell us all about your bikes

2009 Specialized hard-tail singlespeed
2011 Kona Jake the Snake
2011 Airborne Goblin

Read more about Wendy over at her blog!

Motivational Monday with Rebecca Rusch

0 Rebecca Rusch

A Monday morning tradition that we are starting to keep you motivated and to be striving for your goals even during a hard week or long hours at work.   Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you?  Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com

I can’t say enough great things abouthttp://rebeccarusch.com/.   In years past I’ve had the honor to be in her pit as a mechanic, get a pat on the back at a race and more than that she’s always that constant voice in the back of my head on hard rides and long races.

Rebecca Rusch

1. What’s your name and location?

Rebecca Rusch, Ketchum ID (AKA Sun Valley)

2. What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Endurance mountain biking, but I also ride ‘cross, road, pump track, super D and townie/commuter.

3. What is your first cycling memory?

Ripping my purple banana seat Huffy down the brick street in front of my house. We lived on a quiet street on a hill and our house was near the top. Rolling down without pedaling was pure freedom, but I also kind of liked turning around and working hard to get back up so I could do it again. I guess that was my first type of “training” and the realization that it was rewarding to “earn your turns” so to speak.

4. Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

Marla Streb. Hands down. She has handled a very long term racing and cycling career with such passion and grace and has done pretty much EVERYTHING. She started mountain biking at 28 after leaving her job in molecular biology AIDS research. Since then she paved the way for women in downhill by earning multiple national titles, world cup podiums and a SS world champ title. She’s also competitive in endurance races like La Ruta. She’s a Mom of 2, manages trail building projects in South America, she’s written two books, lived on a sailboat and manages the Luna women’s cycling team. She just announced her 2011 return to racing and will also be coaching ride clinics this year and just launched the opening of a bike cafe called Handle Bar in Baltimore. On top of all of that, she’s super friendly, funny and just the kind of person you want to hang out with. I just hope I don’t have to race against her this year!

5. What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Winning the 2010 Leadville Trail 100 and breaking the long standing women’s course record. The beauty of that day is that I worked hard all season for that one event and, like magic the training, dedication, equipment all aligned perfectly on that specific day. Peaking perfectly and having a race unfold as you visualize it is an elusive, slippery goal to grasp at. More times than not, things don’t go as planned. This time it did and I was elated with my performance and thankful to the team of people who helped me pull it off. It’s a day I won’t forget.

6. In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

The #1 race goal is to try to defend my Leadville Trail 100 title for a 3rd time. It has never been done and my training plan is built 100% around this goal.

However, I also have some new projects that I’m super excited about. I have designed the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour for 2011 that will include various mtb events for women and girls. The events are all different, including a women’s only mountain bike race in Colorado (Bike Beti Bash), a high school girls race team in my home town (Wheel Girls), and the first event of the year, SRAM Ladies Lounge at Sea Otter! I will also hopefully be showing the 2010 Race Across the Sky Leadville 100 film in various locations as IMBA fundraisers. I love racing and have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but I also love to share my experience with other riders and help people find out how great riding a bike is! These extra projects are all just a natural progression in my own education and riding experience.

Motivational Monday with Katie Holden

1 Motivational Monday Katie Holden

I met Katie last year at Sea Otter. A kick ass, down to earth, downhill chick. She talked about mountain technique, safety and was a smiling face that many women need to see when relating to “GNAR-CORE” riders. Super approachable and always wanting to help other women get stronger!

What’s your name and location?

My name is Katie Holden and I live in Scotts Valley, CA (near Santa Cruz)

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I was born and bred on Downhill but I like just about everything. I spend the majority of my time trail riding on my Specialized Safire…it can take you a lot of places a downhill bike can’t (ie. up)  and it shreds on the downhills.  Love pump tracks. You can also find me out on the road bike now and again.

What is your first cycling memory?

My first bike memory is actually teaching my sister to ride a bike on our back patio in Ithaca, NY. I remember that experience quite vividly, it’s a little sad I cannot remember my own!

Motivational Monday Katie Holden

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

There has been an influx of quick girls the past few years which is quite inspiring. These girls are quick, driven, confident…it’s refreshing. When I first started racing, there would be 30+ girls at a national round and now you are lucky to get that at a World Cup round…it is so great that the numbers are going back up. When the depth of talent increases, everyone has to step it up a notch, that inspires me. You have train harder, go faster, push yourself out of your comfort zone…it’s a good thing! Progression is good. I think that now more than ever it is important for girls/women to work together and encourage each other. Often people don’t work together out of competitiveness (or fear) but what they are failing to realize is the quicker (and bigger) we go collectively, the more we will be taken seriously, the more we will get paid, the more we will be looked at as equals. That was kind of a roundabout way of answering the question but basically progression inspires me!

As far as actual people go, I have always been inspired by Jill Kintner for her drive and determination, Tracey Hannah for her pure talent on a bike (I have never seen raw talent like Tracey) and Rebecca Rusch because she is an incredible athlete and I have learned so much from her in one short year, I will always look up to those three but I am inspired by people on a daily basis!

What was your best moment on a bike in 2012?

Well the year is still young, but I just got back from a riding trip in Jamaica and it was so, so great.

Motivational Monday Katie Holden

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2012?

I want to be on the top of the podium…that is always the goal. Aside from that having fun and enjoying everything along the way is very important to me. i have never been the type to go to a race and hang out in the hotel room…I want to get out there, see cool stuff, eat good food, meet new people! Travel have been a huge partof my life since I was a kid, I absolutely love it…following that passion, I am working on doing some more bike/photo/guiding trips to mix it up!

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I ride a Specialized Demo 8, Safire, SX Slalom, P.3 and Ruby!

I just want to give a huge shout out to my sponsors Specialized, SRAM, Camelbak, Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, Smith, DT Swiss, Gamut, Vans, Leatt, Navitas Naturals, Joby & Pro-Tec! Thank you all so much.

You can find more info on my blog www.katieholden.com ,facebook.com/thekatieholden & twitter.com/katieholden Photo credit: Ian Hylands

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!